On Thursday December 13th a mixed group of professionals with representatives from various aid organizations, health care, the legal profession, the police and from the public prosecution office among others, attended an information session. During this session information was provided about Schadefonds, which is pending to be launched in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba.
Schadefonds Geweldsmisdrijven (Criminal Crimes Damage Fund) is an independent administrative body that is included in the Ministry of Justice and Security. They provide one-off benefits to victims of violent crimes if they suffered serious physical and/or psychological injuries as a result. Relatives of victims of a violent crime or death-by-offense can also submit an application with the fund.
At the moment the organization is only active in the Netherlands. However, the Minister for Legal Protection has submitted the bill to the Tweede Kamer regarding expansion of duties of Schadefonds in the Caribbean Netherlands. As soon as this has been approved by Parliament in The Hague, Schadefonds Geweldsmisdrijven will also start processing applications from the Caribbean Netherlands.
Because the applications are submitted via Bureau Slachtofferhulp (BSH), BSH employees from all three islands attended courses from Schadefonds earlier this week. The delegation from The Hague also visited various stakeholders, such as the Lieutenant Governor, the Public Prosecution Office, KPCN, the judiciary, the guardianship council, medical services and RCN.
In the meantime, for more information regarding Schadefonds you can take a look at www.schadefonds.nl. A website will be launched soon with information specifically for the Caribbean Netherlands.